Singapore—A new pilot, Tech@SG, to be launched later this year, has been specifically designed for qualified tech firms to have the applications for Employment Pass for “core team members” facilitated, according to an announcement from the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) on July 30.
The Business Times (BT) reports Chng Kai Fong, the managing director of EDB, as saying that this pilot “will not only give tech companies the confidence to hire the tech talent they need” but also open doors for Singaporeans to also find employment alongside internationally competitive teams of leading entrepreneurs and engineers from all over the globe.
Tech@SG’s pilot is expected to last for two years. Its goal is to aid tech firms in the country and even expand throughout the region through allowing them access to talent as well as business networks.
The pilot is aimed at tech firms in the following fields: medtech, biotech, cleantech, agritech, and fintech.
The pilot will link these firms to the country’s innovation and startup ecosystem, as well as aid in facilitating the entry of core team members from other countries.
These tech teams to be established din the country would be comprised of professionals who specialize in “frontier technology” such as data science, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and the Internet of Things.
In a press release, the EDB and ESG said, “Qualifying companies will have the Employment Pass (EP) applications of their core team members facilitated under the programme.”
Furthermore, they also said that if necessary, “manpower flexibilities” would also be provided, including stock options remuneration in relation to EP salary requirements, or deep skills in place of formal academic qualifications.
News concerning Tech@SG was greeted with approval by Victor Mills, the chief executive of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce. Mr Mills said, “Choosing what skills we need to complement those of our local talent and facilitating their entry to Singapore just makes sense.”
According to Edwin Chow, ESG assistant chief executive officer, the new pilot will be to the advantage of “high-growth companies with technology needs,” particularly for startups with the need to strengthen their capabilities and scale up at a faster pace.
He said, “Our high-growth companies with technology needs will benefit from the expertise that global tech talent can bring. This is especially so for tech start-ups that require the resources to strengthen their tech capabilities and scale up more quickly.”
Under Tech@SG the processing time would be “within three weeks for most cases,” according to the Manpower Ministry (MOM). This is the same amount of time it takes for EP applications online, according to the ministry’s website.
The chairman of industry association SGTech’s Singapore Enterprise Chapter, Sharon Teo, expressed the hope that “the programme will not be limited to a select few ‘high-potentials’, but also benefit all Singapore-based tech companies,” but also said that Tech@SG “will be a great help to the tech industry.” / TISG